Christening Checklist : An ultimate Guide to Planning a Christening
Congratulations! By now you are now beginning to adjust the life of a new parent and juggling new responsibilities of having an additional member to your growing family.
A couple of months after you have given birth, I'm sure some of your baby's godparents-to-be are excited and dying to know when the christening is. While it is a culture in most christian countries to hold a christening a few months after your baby's birth, you don't need to yield to the growing pressure of planning a Christening for your baby. But how do you go about planning a Christening? What would be the first step?
We have compiled a list to make the planning easier for you and your partner.
WHY HAVE A CHRISTENING?
A christening is a Christian blessing which usually involves baptism. It represents the cleansing of the original sin and the initiation of the baby into the church. There are varied reasons why parents opt to have a christening. For most Christian parents it's a way of formally welcoming their baby to the world. It could also be a way to get your baby into a church school at a later date. Whatever the reasons are, if you want to have a Christening there is plenty of planning to do in advance.
WHEN TO HAVE IT?
The actual date of the christening usually depends on the availability of your church and you would also want to consider the availability of your chosen Godparents.
As to the baby's age, it would depend on the parents and sometimes the requirements of your church.
If you are going for a traditional christening, then obviously it would be held at the church. Talk to your vicar about the needed requirements for the Christening so that you can prepare them ahead. Once your Vicar has approved, set up a date for the Christening. When setting up a date, consider the availability of the church and that of the godparents.
Speaking of godparents, what's a christening without them right? A godparent is someone who tends to take interest in the upbringing, personal development and the one who takes care of the child should anything happen to the parents.
Find a godparent who share some of your values if not all. Ask someone who is willing to be a guardian and look for atleast one or three godparent who is geographically close.
Of course it's your baby's special day and he or she, would be the center of attention so dress them up with something that is appropriate for the occasion. When choosing a gown, remember that your baby grows! Do not buy a gown 6 months ahead of the christening as they'll have outgrown it by then. It would be wise to wait until you'll know when the ceremony will happen and buy the right size for your baby.
Traditionally it's one of the roles of the godmother to provide the christening clothes and it is always worth consulting with her before hand or you'll end up buying a gown you won't be able to use.
Emphasise on your invitation cards that guest should arrive at least a quarter of an hour before the ceremony starts. Also you might want to consider the religious belief of your invited godparents who are of different faiths. Give them an overview of what goes on during the service and ask them if there are parts of the ceremony that is contrary to their belief.
Apart from remembering the promises that you have to say, this is actually one of the less stressful part as the service is in the hands of the vicar.
Include on your invites that the reception will follow after the service. Though not part of the ceremony, the reception is a time that godparents, friends and family can celebrate together especially if some of them have traveled some distance.
This can be in a form of a quiet reception or a large gathering. This is the part of the celebration where guests can give their presents and well wishes to your baby and for godparent to get acquainted with people who are a part of their godchild's life.
If you have some gift policy for the godparents you should indicate it on the invites. And while it is customary for godparents to give christening gifts to their godchild, it would also be nice if you can give a symbolic gift to the godparents too. You can also give gifts or a thank you card to your guests too, something to thank them for celebrating your child's christening.
Don't forget to invite the vicar to your reception too.
Welcoming your baby into the world is one of the most important event of his or her life so CAPTURE EVERY MOMENT! You can opt to hire a professional photographer or ask your guests to take pictures and you can ask for them politely after the celebration.
During the party, you can also set up a christening photo backdrop where guests can have their pictures taken even along with the celebrant. You can have these pictures printed and keep them in an album but remember to keep a soft copy of it. One day, when your baby is old enough you can show them those pictures and you'd be glad you were able to capture those precious moments.
Christenings are celebrated in a lot of different ways, maybe a bit different to what our checklist has covered but no matter how you celebrate it, what's important is everyone enjoyed your child's big day!